World renown Dutch model Doutzen Kroes has to put her plans for renovating her 1920s villa worth two million euro on hold because a colony of bats has decided to move in. In the Netherlands, bats are a protected species and can’t be chased out of their homes.
Renovations were apparently set to cost one million euro and be finished by the summer of 2019, so that Kroes and her family could move in. The bats have thwarted any renovation plans for the near future, as the city of Huizen, North Holland were the villa is located, has put a stop to any works. Some sort of ‘humane’ traps have been placed in nearby trees to get the bats out, but nobody can predict how that’s going to pan out.
However, this does sounds like a fantastic Halloween house.
Dutch coffee makers Douwe Egberts have been reducing the amount of coffee in the pods for its Senseo system for years, Volkskrant reports.
The newspaper quotes CEO Michiel Herkemij, who blames former parent company Sara Lee. The amount of coffee in the pods was reduced from 7.5 grams to 7 grams to cut costs. Now that Douwe Egberts is its own company again (called “D. E. Master Blenders”), the missing half gram has been returned to the pods.
It appears the coffee maker wants to go back to competing on quality rather than price. Earlier this year Herkemij told NRC: “If you lower the quality you open the door for white labels. Their pods are 20% cheaper and yet have the same quality as ours. When I worked for Heineken I learned that the only way to distinguish yourself is with better products.”
Herkemij also wants to ditch the recent style of advertising which involved celebrities like Doutzen Kroes and Rutger Hauer and return to the cosy mood of yesteryear’s ads that used the slogan “het aroma komt je tegemoet” (‘the smell of coffee greets you’).
Created in 1952, the Donald Duck weekly magazine has just been translated into Frisian, the language today’s kids would associate with speed skater Sven Kramer and supermodel Doutzen Kroes. After just three days, Donald Duck is almost sold out, with only 10,000 copies left of the original 40,000, enough to supply one tenth of the Frisian-speaking population. Donald is still speaking Dutch here, but he is doing something typically Frisian: fierljeppen (far-leaping). Frisian, as well as English, German and Dutch, are part of the same language group of West Germanic languages.
As of 27 April, they’ll print more magazines to meet the rising demand, which I would imagine also makes it a collector’s item. Just this year, we had the First ever national advert entirely in Frisian and if cutie pies like Sven and Doutzen speak Frisian, it’s bound to be increasingly trendy.
According to the Volkskrant, only one student has registered to study Frisian this year at the University of Groningen, the only university in the country that offers a Bacherlor’s and Master’s degree in the country’s second official language.
Professor Goffe Jensma said on a local radio show in Groningen that new rules allowing universities to set their own fees for second degrees was at the heart of the problem. Grytsje Nicolaij, who already has a degree as a musicologist, was planning to study Fries on the side to keep up with family and friends who spoke the language better than he did. If the university does not attract more students (how many, we don’t know) before October 1, Grytsje will have to brush up on his Frisian elsewhere.
What does Frisian sound like?
Frisian Duo Twarres had a huge hit with ‘Wêr Bisto’ (‘Live, with a Dutch translation). The girl is the guitarist, the guy is the back up singer and they are childhood friends:
Frisian model Doutzen Kroes (L’Oréal, Victoria’s Secret) promotes her mother tongue:
Doutzen Kroes, known as a L’Oréal and Victoria’s Secret model, has been asked to use her pretty face to make the Frisian language even more attractive.
The 22-year-old top model will be playing a major role in the campaign ‘Praat mar Frysk’ (roughly, ‘Just speak Frisian’) for the province of Friesland, which will be launched next week in Tytsjerksteradiel, according to news website Wâldnet. Doutzen was asked because she can show that she comes from Friesland and speaks Frisian ‘beautifully’. The goal of the campaign is to make Frisians aware of their language. Only about 2% of the Dutch population speaks it. And then a few years back, there was that nice duo Twarres who scored an international hit with their song ‘Wêr Bisto’, which is in West Frisian (the same Frisian I’m on about, as the Germans and Danish have their varieties).
For the folks who thought Dutch was the only official language of the Netherlands, there is also Frisian as well as the regional languages of Dutch Low Saxon and Limburgish.